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Cheap Faith

Erik Cooper —  June 9, 2010 — Leave a comment

If we really had the guts, some of us would have to admit our faith is cheap.

Never tested.

Rarely wrestled with.

Never sacrificed for.

Just handed to us. By our family.  Our surroundings.  Our culture.

Not an encounter with God. Just something we do.  Our lens for thinking about and understanding the world.

And like a leaf being swept down the white-capped rapids of a raging river, our faith is just going where the motion naturally takes us (or sometimes leaves us drowning against a protruding rock).

Cheap faith.

In that context, the question “why?” is an assumption-bucking question.  It’s paddling upstream.  Swimming against the flow.

“Why?” is powerful.  It can also be incredibly dangerous.

In the hands of a cynic it can breed a sense of meaninglessness, contempt, and even less trust (if that’s possible for a cynic).  But asked with the right motive, “why?” can bring strength, deep conviction, and even greater freedom.

This week at CityCom, we launched a brand new series aimed at asking “why?”  (Or in our case, “Y.” You know we just can’t be normal).  Click here to hear the audio of the opening message called “Y Ask Why?

Jesus loved to ask “why?”  But unlike the religious leaders of His day, His “whys?” weren’t aimed at protecting cultural assumptions.  Jesus’ questions cut His listeners to the core and exposed their motivesWith Jesus, it’s not just the action but the driving force that really matters.

What’s your why?

Why do you believe what you believe?

Why don’t you believe what you don’t believe?

Asked with the right motivation and within the scope of true community (like drinking alone, asking why alone may be a sign of trouble ahead), the question “why” will destroy cheap faith. Because Jesus Christ is not a philosophy to be embraced, He’s a “Person” to be encountered.

And He’s not afraid of your “why?”  In fact, He just might meet you there.


Erik Cooper —  April 6, 2009 — Leave a comment

As children we’re naturally inquisitive.  We question everything.  Not out of doubt or distrust, but simply because experience has given us no point of reference.  So we ask…sometimes obnoxiously, often irritatingly…why? I can subliminally hear my 3 year old son pepperng me even now.  “Why daddy…why?  Daddy…why?  Why?  (Because I said so!  Every dad’s trump card, right?).

But somewhere along the line, most of us lose that curiosity and one of two things happens.  We either stop asking why and all of life becomes habitual, cultural, the norm.  Or we can’t find a good answer to why and cynicism and disillusionment overtake our sense of wonder.

Why do we go to church? Now there’s a great question that many of us have simply stopped asking.  We do it out of habit, out of ritual, out of obligation.  Our parents made us.  Our guilt drives us.  Culture overtakes intentionality and we no longer even ask the question.  We just do it…because…just because.

Or we just never found a good answer.  Watching others do something we see absolutely no reason for is a recipe for cynical skepticism.  Some of us live underneath layers of unanswered “why’s,” and they’ve made us cold, hard, and calloused.

God is not afraid of our why’s.  In fact, He wants us to ask them, dig into them, mine them out.  He loves our pursuit.  Have you stopped askingLost sight of a good answer?  Go ahead and ask it…why? You just might be surprised at the answers.